October 6th, 2014
04:30 PM ET

What Hong Kong protests say about China's future

By Fareed Zakaria

The solution for China is obvious – political reform. This has been seen and advocated by many senior leaders within the party, including Wen Jiabao. In two interviews with me, Wen, premier of China from 2002 to 2012, insisted that political reform had to follow economic reform. But it never happened because reform threatens the party's monopoly of power.

China will not become a Western-style liberal democracy. But it should consider the example of Singapore, a city-state with a strong one party system but one that also has legal opposition parties, reasonably free elections, and real independent courts.

Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping famously visited Singapore in November 1978 and learned about Singapore's free market economic system before beginning reforms at home. President Xi Jinping would do well to take a similar trip to that city state pretty soon.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column

Post by:
Topics: China • GPS Show

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Blue Saffron

    It is China's misfortune to be located next to India in a geo political context. Just as USA is to Mexico. A drain on resources. A terror centrale.

    October 7, 2014 at 2:46 am |
    • Blue Saffron

      Interestingly a Chinese investment company just bought up the Waldorf Astoria.

      October 7, 2014 at 2:53 am |
      • Cristobal

        That was a fast move! Close to $2 Billion. My sense is their next acquisition will be New York Palace next door. I will tell you why shortly.

        October 7, 2014 at 3:14 am |
  2. Blue Saffron

    It is China's misfortune to be located next to India in a geo political context. Just as USA is to Mexico.

    October 7, 2014 at 2:48 am |
    • Cristobal

      China has invested over $160 Billion to contain India for the next 30 years.

      October 7, 2014 at 2:56 am |
  3. Blue Saffron

    The point is a new world order has been created and China leads the pack without even firing a bullet. Confucious says: Who needs democracy!

    October 7, 2014 at 3:00 am |
    • Cristobal

      Confucious has much wisdom but is smart to play along. But it will be Chinese Democracy.

      October 7, 2014 at 3:11 am |
  4. Blue Saffron

    There are five (perhaps more) Chinese private equity companies starting operations in Manhattan, NYC. Rest is foregone conclusion.
    Gobble Gobble Gobble.

    October 7, 2014 at 3:07 am |
    • Hawk

      Hope they leave some turkey drippings for us for thanksgiving.

      October 7, 2014 at 6:16 am |
  5. Cristobal

    China is onto its next phase of Global Domination and Consolidation. We wish them well.

    October 7, 2014 at 3:09 am |
  6. Cristobal

    Gnite guys. I have a European conference call in a couple of hours.

    October 7, 2014 at 3:16 am |
  7. Evan

    The changing of the guards happened. We were busy fighting wars. China rapidly evolved. Enjoy the dumplings. Fareed, CNN is China News Network now.

    October 7, 2014 at 6:11 am |
    • Hawk

      LOL. He still thinks we are fighting USSR. Ahhhh ... He is from India a Soviet ally.

      October 7, 2014 at 6:19 am |
  8. Joseph McCarthy

    What both China and the rest of the world needs is Chinese stability. If China destabilizes, it will quit financing our huge spending deficit which in turn will cause the right-wing politicians in Washington to gut both Social Security and Medicare, curtail spending on our infrastructure and close down more schools and libraries, not to mention the curtailing of our police and fire departments here in America!

    October 7, 2014 at 7:47 am |
  9. chri§§y

    They need to trim down some of that wasted DOD budget! NSA has been totally useless and a colossal waste of money! And while their at it trim the military budget by not financing other countries militaries! Particularly Israel!

    October 7, 2014 at 8:12 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Well put, chrissy.

      October 7, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • Sheryl©

      Oh, @ chrissy, there you go, being silly again! Don't you remember when NSA put a man on the moon?

      October 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

        That was NASA, not NSA, Sheryl. Besides, you know Chrissy's right about NSA.

        October 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
  10. Blue Saffron

    Ali Baba IPO was the Chinese stamp on global capital markets. China now dominates the debt and equity markets. Should Shanghai be the next financial center. Someone in there is a red herring. Mao Tse Tung .... A great leader. Rest in peace. You done well.

    October 7, 2014 at 9:11 am |
  11. thumbsihave2

    In another CNN article, it is estimated that there are ~6000 Chinese military personnel in Hong Kong. That is not enough to control any major protests. And China would not want to have such an escalation for it would mean transporting in more personnel, which would be an aggressive escalation. China would only act in such a manner if it the protestors appeared as if they might usher in major change, like Tianamen Square. Far, far away from that level at this point.

    Eventually, there will be a confrontation between the ruling minority & elite of China and the majority of its citizens in which the former is cast out. But the Communist Party of China knows it must blow enough smoke (e.g., token personal freedoms and liberties, slight improvements in the socioeconomic status of its citizens, etc.) lest the bees gets angry and sting them. In a couple or several decades there will eventually/inevitably be a major change in the political system of China (& its citizens and the rest of the world be better off for it).

    October 7, 2014 at 10:13 am |
  12. Blue Saffron

    These protests are not indigenous but instigated by external elements similar to what is happening in a neighboring country. Coincidentally both are allies. Hmmmmmm ...

    October 7, 2014 at 10:18 am |
  13. Evan

    China is undoubtedly the only hope remaining for this world. The descent of Americans and Brits from the top rung has been swift. Watching CNN tells all. The panic. Hopelessness. Despair. Said the Raven No More !

    October 7, 2014 at 10:23 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      My, now just how DID the English ever build that Empire over which Victoria reigned?
      They must have had, I suppose, excellent political strategies, press relations, and Right Now, with-it, cool man. PC speech writers.
      No force involved. Just Peace.

      October 7, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        I really believe in Flower Power.
        I truly do.
        Aussi, I'll have my butter unsalted, please.

        October 7, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        Far be it for the Chinese to accept any demeaning work, or to be underpaid.

        October 7, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

        Don't forget Joey, the British Empire was built on sheer greed. For instance, it wasn't enough that England owned the thirteen Colonies but had to take over Canada as well which culminated in the French and Indian War (1754-63). It would do well to remember how the Opium Wars (1839-42), (1857-58) got started. Finally, the British seized the Malvinas from Argentina in 1833 and renamed them the Falkland Islands. Enough said.

        October 7, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        @ My Troll,
        So what?

        October 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
  14. Philip

    Maybe if China adopts American policies, they can be as deep in debt as US.

    October 7, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • ha ha ha, dumb azz American

      The Chinese are much smarter than that. They know how to take over the world and put YOU in debt, dumb azz American......... ha! ha! ha!

      October 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    I never cared for the Waldorf-Astoria, anyway.
    The streets around it are crowded.
    @ dazzle discovered one of our secrets, the Pierre.
    Then, there's still something about the Plaza. It doesn't matter so much if they let in all sorts of...guests.

    October 7, 2014 at 11:59 am |
  16. chri§§y

    Seriously @ Sheryl? Did you graduate???

    October 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • Mel

      I got the joke. Too bad you're too dense to!

      October 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
  17. Brevity

    We will be celebrating Chinese New Year in New Delhi soon in place of Deepa Vali at the rate the Chinese Army are conquering Indian land. They are now a 100 miles away

    October 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
  18. Blue Saffron

    @Cristobal, you never reverted back re: New York Palace. I have fond memories of that place. Love the courtyard.

    October 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
    • Cristobal

      My Bad. NYP was owned by Brunei Sultan and bought out by South Asian money a few years ago. China would love to whoop this player (!) out and control a few blocks in Manhattan. Eventually consolidating the parcels with air rights.

      October 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
  19. chri§§y

    If youre talking to me @ Mel F O! Im tired of taking bs from the pud with multi names, one of which is probably YOU! If i mispell a word or hit the wrong key IT ipounces on me for it. So pardon me if i DONT think IT is joking when IT posts something dense at me!!! If you dont like BITE ME!

    October 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  20. chri§§y

    If youre talking to me @ Mel F O! Im tired of taking bs from the pud with multi names, one of which is probably YOU! If i mispell a word or hit the wrong key IT ipounces on me for it. So pardon me if i DONT think IT is joking when IT posts something dense at me!!! If you dont like it BITE ME!

    October 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
  21. chri§§y

    And yea i see my own spelling error on ipounce i dont need you to tell me!

    October 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  22. Blue Saffron

    Chinese are heavily leveraged in their USA real estate pursuits. Their capital stack is an American silo recycled to buy their dirt from under them.

    October 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
    • Blue Saffron

      They are also underwriting acquisitions at low cap rates.

      October 7, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
    • Blue Saffron

      These properties are american jewels and icons. The Chinese will double their money in three years.

      October 7, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
  23. ha ha ha, dumb azz American

    O what a booteeful mornin'
    O what a booteeful day
    the chinese are buyin' up Manhatten
    everythin's goin' their way

    October 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  24. Cheene Hindoo Bhai Bhai

    Hindus are busy scratching their balls and picking their nose while Chinese conquer their territories. Scratching their balls is second nature to Indian Hindus. They do it while bobbling their head side to side. They feel empowered during the scratching process and is akin to a dog taking a p iss against a lamp post

    October 7, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
  25. chri§§y

    China and India are two very different countries. India was LAST WEEKS news and China is THIS WEEKS news. A fact that you seem very confused about! Read the headline and maybe you wont be so confused ok.

    October 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
  26. Cheene Hindoo Bhai Bhai

    Mamas don't let your kids grow up to be like hindus. These cowards are hiding in trenches while Chinese conquer India in front of our eyes.

    Why dont you hindus go fight the Chinese and take your land back. Don't you have any dignity or self respect?

    October 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
  27. chri§§y

    Maybe theyre as sick of war as we are?

    October 7, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
  28. chri§§y

    Sometimes it takes a bigger man to walk away from a fight than it does the lil bullys who start them. 😉

    October 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
  29. Cheene Hindoo Bhai Bhai

    On 22 October 1987, at 12:15 am, Indian Army surrendered to Chinese Liberation Army. About 125,000 Indian soldiers were captured. This was a victory that propelled China into global leadership and a defeat for India that sealed its fate as a curmedgeon in world politics.

    October 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
1 2 3

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.